Novak Djokovic finally made it through to the men’s quarter-finals on Day 8, the top seed outclassing a gallant Kevin Anderson 7-5 in the fifth set to set up a clash with reigning US Open champion Marin Cilic.
Day 8 Recap
After starting the day locked at 2 sets apiece, Djokovic and Anderson took to the court for a winner takes all final set, with the South African having the advantage of serving first. Unfortunately for Anderson, who has hoping to make his first Grand Slam quarter-final, a pair of double faults in the eleventh game gave Djokovic the decisive break and the top seed duly served it out to progress to the quarter-finals.
In the women’s quarter-finals on Day 8, Spaniard Garbine Muguruza made it through to her first major semi-final, ousting French Open semi-finalist Timea Bacsinszky in straight sets. The twentieth seed will need to beat Pole Agnieszka Radwanska if she hopes to make it through to Saturday’s final, after the thirteenth seed and former finalist held off rising star Madison Keys in a tense 3-setter on Day 8.
In the top half of the draw, Serena Williams and Maria Sharapova set up a blockbuster semi-final after each progressed courtesy of a 3 set win. The Russian overcame a mid-match wobble to dispose of American Coco Vandeweghe, whilst Williams yet again came from a set down to defeat former world number one Victoria Azarenka.
Matches of the Day – Day 9
1. Novak Djokovic vs. Marin Cilic
Having survived an almighty scare against Anderson, I don’t think Djokovic will be in any mood to mess around in this clash. Luckily for the Serb, he didn’t waste too much energy on finishing off Anderson on Day 8, and with his famed powers of recovery, I don’t see playing on Day 8 as being a material factor.
Cilic can beat anybody on his day, as his run all the way to the title in New York last year demonstrated, but on grass I think Djokovic has the edge, particularly if he can return the Cilic serve well. Djokovic in 4.
2. Stan Wawrinka vs. Richard Gasquet
The first time Stan Wawrinka won a Grand Slam, at last year’s Australian Open, he promptly bowed out in the first round of the next Grand Slam, going down to Guillermo Garcia-Lopez in Paris. This year, Wawrinka avenged that loss by winning the French Open championship and, instead of a come-down, the Swiss seed seems to be still riding on a high. Wawrinka is yet to drop a set in the tournament and will fancy his chances of progressing to the semi-finals.
Gasquet is a former semi-finalist in London and has done very well to beat Dimitrov and Kyrgios in his last couple of matches. In particular, he did very well to remain focused during the various dramas that unfolded in the Kyrgios match. This pair has only played twice before, with each man scoring a win. I’ll back Wawrinka on the back of his recent form and his greater firepower, but I wouldn’t be surprised to see this one go the distance. Wawrinka in 5.
3. Roger Federer vs. Gilles Simon
After winning the pair’s first couple of encounters, Gilles Simon has lost his last five matches against Roger Federer. That said, the Frenchman has pushed Federer to the brink in many of them, taking the Swiss star to 5 sets at the 2011 Australian Open and at the 2013 French Open.
Simon brushed aside an out-of-sorts Tomas Berdych in straight sets in the fourth round and, in doing so, advanced to his first Grand Slam quarter-final since 2009. The Frenchman is a clever counterpuncher and an adept mover, but I don’t think he has the flair or the finesse to match seven-time champion Federer at the All England Club. Look for Simon to steal one set but for the Federer juggernaut to roll on. Federer in 4.
4. Andy Murray vs. Vasek Pospisil
With his brother having teamed up John Peers to knock defending champions Pospisil and his partner Jack Sock out of the doubles tournament, Andy Murray will now attempt to end the Canadian’s terrific run in the singles event. Pospisil is into his first Grand Slam quarter-final after a superb win over the in-form Viktor Troicki, but has his work cut out for him against former winner Murray.
The Scott has won all three of the pair’s previous matches, including at Indian Wells and in Rotterdam earlier this year, and has not dropped a set in the process. Pospisil’s big serve gives him a better chance on grass, but Murray’s all-court game and greater experience will see him get through this match without too many problems. Murray in 3.
That’s it for today. Enjoy the tennis and I’ll be back with another serve tomorrow. In the meantime, you can follow me on Twitter: @satelliteserve.
stunning and amazing federer… hopefully the maestro will claim the wimbledon title this year.. forever legend roger federer
Gasquet vs Wawrinka was entertaining a lot, at least for the last set which lasted almost as long as the 3 other QF. Considering the fact that the Frenchman has a poor H2H record against Djokovic, the Serb will be highly favorite in SF, but who knows? After all, if Rainer Shuttler made the final in Melbourne in 2003. Gasquet certainly deserves to push his luck a round further, but he wlll need to play an agressive game like he did today, and not doing any gift like Kevin Anderson did to Novak on Monday (and in the 5th set Tuesday).